Pros / There is no limit to your benefits.
Cons / This service does not pay the dentist office directly.
Verdict / Physicians Mutual has an unusual payout system in that it reimburses you a flat amount for a given procedure. You must pay the rest of the bill, but there is no limit on how much work you can have done, and you always know exactly what your reimbursement is.
Physicians Mutual takes an unusual approach to dental insurance. Rather than determining your premiums based on your location and paying a percentage of the cost of a procedure, this insurance company has a standard fee and set-dollar-amount benefits. As such, it's one of the simplest to understand, but if have major dental needs, like root canals, you may end up paying more for your procedure than you would with other insurance companies.
This company offers three plans, which have the same rates no matter where you live. Other dental insurance agencies charge you different rates depending on your location, gender and, sometimes, if you are a smoker or nonsmoker. In turn, Physicians Mutual pays out the same amount for a procedure no matter where you live or what your dentist charges. For example, if you need one filling and had the Standard Option plan, Physicians Mutual pays you $43 to go toward the procedure, whether your dentist charged you $30 or $300.
This can benefit you if you are a careful shopper. You can compare the price of dental procedures to the benefits and find a good dentist that best matches the price. It can help you budget as well, since you know exactly what each procedure will cost and what you'll get back.
If you live in an area where dental procedures are inexpensive, you may find this dental insurance is an economical choice. We found that, on average, an individual on this plan who only needed the standard cleanings and X-rays could save quite a bit. This unlimited dental insurance does not set a cap on the benefits you can receive in a year. Most companies only reimburse to a couple of thousand dollars.
However, there are some disadvantages. If you live in an area where cost of living is high, dental care probably is, too, and you might benefit from an insurance that pays a percentage of the procedure rather than a flat rate. In addition, Physicians Mutual sends the reimbursement directly to you, and you are responsible for making any payments according to the dentist's schedule.
If you decide you want to do some price checking to see if this plan is best for you, be sure to ask your dentist if non-insurance prices would apply, since he or she will not be dealing with the insurance company but with you directly. This could save you a lot of money, as dentists usually have lower prices for cash patients.
Physicians Mutual uses a standard pay-in/pay-out system that is easy to understand and follow. It does not set a limit on the benefits you can receive, but it does pay those directly to you, and you are responsible for your dental bill. As such, it's worth taking time to price dental procedures in your area and compare them to Physicians Mutual's payout list to see if you would save with this insurance.